Each year, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure is honored to kick off the holiday season by officially lighting the “Mayor’s Tree” in Park Central Square. This tradition has grown tremendously over the past few years, morphing from primarily a children’s event to one which captures the attention of the entire community and draws spectators from around the region.
In recent years, the event has become an entertaining showcase of performing artists, bringing cultural institutions like Springfield Ballet, and Springfield Little Theatre, to a whole new generation of Springfieldians who may not have access to experience the joy of the arts. This year, we're bringing the show to YOU to enjoy right in your home.
2020: Exciting & Different
The City of Springfield is partnering with the newly formed Ozarks Performing Arts League, (OPAL) a consortium of performing arts organizations (comprised of Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield Ballet, Springfield Regional Opera and the Springfield Regional Arts Council) to produce and televise a phenomenal holiday show in the tradition of Springfield’s impressive and deep entertainment roots.
The show will culminate with the live tree lighting by the mayor who will flip the switch from high above Park Central Square.
The Mayor’s Tree Lighting is only the beginning! It's the annual kickoff to the Festival of Lights - which includes a new take on the Christmas Parade - all coordinated by the Downtown Springfield Association and Downtown Community Improvement District.
- Springfield Ballet
- Springfield Little Theatre
- Springfield Regional Opera
- Springfield Symphony
- Studio Vie dancers
- Grupo Latino dancers
- Vocalists Emalee Flatness and Matthew Hutchemann
- Vocalist Jessie Cowen
- Multi-instrumentalist Jin J X
- Jazz guitarist/vocalist Shaun Munday
Selfies with Santa
Families are invited to take drive-through “Selfies with Santa” from their vehicles following the tree lighting. The Mayor’s Commission for Children are again paying for copies of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to those who drive through to take a selfie with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Systematic Savings Bank employees will hand the books out through the bank window for contactless delivery. A similar method will be used with Buddy the Elf distributing candy canes, via a chute.
Directions to Find Santa
Start on South Avenue, proceed through the Systematic Savings Bank drive through (318 South Ave.). Turn north (L) for a short distance on Robberson Ave. to find Santa and Mrs. Claus on your left at the entrance to Hotel Vandivort's new extension, facing the parking lot. There will be a toy drop to benefit Habitat for Humanity on Robberson Ave. just past Santa.
Ozarks Performing Arts League (OPAL) is a consortium of performing arts organizations comprised of Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield Ballet, Springfield Regional Opera and the Springfield Regional Arts Council.
OPAL is seeking lifesaving financial support to shore up our local arts organizations and their vital economic and cultural role in our region. Your sponsorship will give our city a much-needed opportunity to celebrate.
Your gift will ensure the long-term health of the performing arts in Springfield. Specifically, your support will help:
- Offset revenue losses caused by COVID-19.
- Maintain ongoing business operations.
- Adapt and present performance content as the pandemic continues.
- Plan and market our own re-opening when the public health situation allows us to gather once again.
Donations to help cover event expenses are welcomed. Funds will be held at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and distributed equally to the four members of OPAL: Springfield Ballet, Springfield Little Theatre and Springfield Regional Opera.
Mayor Ken McClure and the City of Springfield
Big thanks to our incredible partners who are making this year's show possible!
Ozarks Performing Arts League
City of Springfield
Downtown Springfield Association
Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District
Mayor’s Commission on Children
Systematic Savings Bank